Easy Back to School Lunch Ideas – from Expert Catherine McCord of Weelicious
We know, we know. It is too soon; you aren’t quite ready for the Back to School content, but let’s be honest, you’re thinking about it. And there is already a list starting – from back-to-school clothes, classroom supplies to shop for – it is that time again. As we start to get a bit busy with the shopping and the planning that happens as the summer starts to wind down we also know that snacks and lunches are top on that list.
And we all know lunch is important, and for as many kids who eat school lunch, the same percentage of kids take lunch to school. There are also the kids who will be attending some form of school for the first time ever. And since the kids are not doing remote or blended learning this school year, we asked mother of three and top expert of all things family meals for a bit of a school lunch refresher, Catherine McCord of Weelicioous, and Onepotato.com.
Yes, Back to School is happening, but don’t fret as we have these easy back-to-school lunch ideas to get you BTS ready.
Psst…check out the School Update for 2021- 2022
For the newbies (nursery/preschool-pre-k) going to school for the first time, what is the best strategy and lunch ideas for these new students?
Remember that lunch for nursery/preschool kids can be busy with the excitement of play and friends. Using a bento-style lunch box can help kids see all of their choices right when they open their lunchboxes. Make sure to offer a balance of fruits, vegetables, protein, and carbohydrates to keep their brains and bodies charged. Cutting food into bite-size pieces can help small kids. Instead of a big sandwich, you can offer “sushi” sandwiches which also have more eye appeal.
Many schools are unable to refrigerate students’ lunches. What are some of your lunch suggestions that have a good shelf life in a traditional lunch box (with an ice pack)?
This is all dependent on your child. 2 of my kids love food at room temperature so I send everything from cheese cubes to leftover pasta, salads, grains, and more. My other child prefers warm lunch, so I send her with a thermos of soup, stew, oatmeal or dinner from the night before.
What are some of your favorite lunches when there is a firm no nut policy at school?
Luckily there are tons of nut-free spreads like sunflower seed or granola butter that are safe to send. Sliced chicken with a dipping sauce, turkey roll-ups, vegetarian burritos, hummus with pita chips, cream cheese with vegetables, yogurt with fruit and granola, and monogram sandwiches are a few of our go-to protein lunch ideas.
Any tips for parents on what dinner meals make for great leftover easy school lunches for the kids?
Catherine McCord is an LA-based former model turned entrepreneur who has built a healthy-living empire, authoring three books, founding healthy-eating destination Weelicious.com, and launching organic family-friendly food delivery service One Potato. We’d be happy to set up a time for you to speak to her about tips and tricks for her recipes, introducing healthy eating habits to kids and how she is balancing everything during this summer. Catherine has appeared on The Today Show, ABC’s The Chew, Access Hollywood Live, Good Morning America, and Fox News as well as appearing regularly on the Food Network’s Guy’s Grocery Games and doing the occasional guest spot on Food Network’s Next Food Network Star and Duff Till Dawn.